Fish Northwest is committed to the conservation and preservation of Puget Sound salmon stocks while restoring and expanding fishing opportunities for Washington’s anglers, their families, and businesses. This can only be achieved if we stop the overharvest of wild fish and use selective fishing methods to harvest hatchery fish.
We believe that the future of recreational fishing opportunities depends on the conservation and recovery of wild salmon along with the science-based production and harvest of hatchery fish. We believe that by using the best available science our wild salmon runs can be conserved and rebuilt, while an abundant hatchery fish population can provide ample fishing opportunities for the public. We think these things can be achieved while increasing hatchery fish production by ensuring equity and fairness is restored to Puget Sound recreational salmon fishing seasons. Our immediate goal is to have WA State comply with the Boldt Decision which specifies the requirement of equal sharing of our salmon resources. In the long term, we’d like to see WA State return to robust hatchery production of salmon and steelhead utilizing a public and private partnership model to the benefit of all those who fish, both tribal and non-tribal.
We see a dysfunctional North of Falcon season setting process, a flawed ten year Puget Sound Chinook Resource Management Plan (RMP), and the lack of a State ESA fishing permit, as true management deficiencies. The cumulative effect of these deficiencies has been WDFW departing from, or in some cases completely ignoring, the federal court adopted Puget Sound Salmon Management Plan, and the legal mandates related to the 1974 landmark case commonly known as the Boldt Decision. As such, we came together and began the legal process to set this right and on October 5th, 2020, Fish Northwest filed a Motion to Intervene in the United States versus Washington, 384 F. Supp. 312, the Boldt Decision.
On Jan 29th, 2021 FNW filed a sixty-day notice of intent to sue for violations of Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act. Filings were sent to the Secretary of Commerce, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
The parties did not remedy the annual ESA violations, including Section 7 consultations for state fisheries, and so on April 25th, 2021 Fish Northwest sought preliminary and permanent injunctive relief including, but not limited to, enjoining the procedural and substantive ESA violations that occur annually through the North of Falcon process and the processes utilized and seasons conducted by NMFS, USFS, BIA, WDFW, and the treaty tribes.
As we launch these legal actions we will need all the financial support we can get. If you agree that recreational salmon fishing opportunities in WA State are unjustifiably dismal, and getting worse, please consider donating and support our cause to restore equity and opportunity.
You can donate directly to Fish Northwest, a 501(c)(4) non-profit, or through our fiscal sponsorship with The Friday Harbor Salmon Classic a 501(c)(3), a non-profit charity, in order to receive a tax deduction.
We expect a lengthy legal battle to achieve equitable recreational salmon fishing opportunity again in WA State. This will be a long and costly journey, but we are determined to stay the course and prevail. We will need sustained financial support from those of you who want to see restoration of equity and opportunity.
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